Ken arrived in Paris with Eddie with little problem. I was told that only the US Customs insisted in “patting” Eddie down and the French Customs after asking if he had papers but not insisting on seeing them, played with Eddie and ignored Ken. Ken called me and said he thought he would have no problem getting Eddie and their luggage on the train to Dijon and I should meet them there. This being done, I found them outside the train station in Dijon at the appointed time. Ken on the phone, and Eddie crossing his legs in his crate and really wanting to get out. After his “grass” time and back on the train to the boat, he slept almost immediately. I think he stayed awake the entire plane trip out of nervousness.
We did not plan to continue our journey until Sunday mid-day so this gave Eddie a full day to get used to being on the boat and back with us. We walked to town and got a rotisserie chicken at a open market (rare for a Sunday) and last minute shopping before departing Sunday for Seurre. Sunday’s trip would be only 28 km’s and one lock. Nice, easy first day on the canals for Eddie.
When we arrived in Seurre we found a very nice Halt nautique with a new dock. There was another large motor yacht on the dock belonging to a very nice English man who came over to chat and tell us the “low-down” of the area. Soon the Capitanaire stopped by and we soon realized he had been enjoying the Sunday with a few “wines”…He did not speak very good English but tried to explain to us that there was a problem with our route that we had planned for the next day. He stated that there were closures at some of the locks in our path that would delay us 2 months! Once we realized his message, I ran to the boat to get our calendar, my English/French dictionary and our charts so we could truly understand the potential problem. Our English neighbor just stood and listened as Ken and I were getting a bit “excited” about being delayed and not hearing anything about this sooner. Soon the Capitanarie was giggling and saying “joke”, slapping us on the back. He also took Kens wrist in his hand to pretend to “check his pulse” laughing. Our neighbor explained that this is what he likes to do with all new boats on the dock. I thought ken would strangle him, but he kept his cool and said, “Yes, funny joke” as we walked back to the boat overwhelmed with relief that we would not be “trapped” in this river section for 2 months. Went looking for the hard stuff after that! Wine and beer was too meager.
Monday, May 17th
At Point Kilometer (PK) 187, we had planned a long day to PK 112 but only 2 locks to finish at Tournus. The River Saone is now wider and there is more boat traffic. We passed Chalon sur Saone, a large city that did not appeal to us so we pushed on the Tournus. Motoring with a 2 knot current with us, we moved along nicely. We are seeing more cruising boats heading upstream against the current. We assume they are just starting their “canal” journey in the opposite directions. Tied up to a nice City Quai heading downstream. Noisy on the back transom when you sleep, but the take off in the morning is like a rocket ship. We walked the town and found a little restaurant with a sign stating they would open at 7pm for Dinner (Sunday). We stopped at a small square for some wine and back to the boat. Dinner at this restaurant was wonderful. It was small and very elegant. Ken had a PILE of frog legs and I had some wonderful version of scalloped potato, Salmon au gratin.
Tuesday, May 18th
Finally, blue skies with a slight breeze. Starting to see familiar boaters that are heading the same way as we are. Met a British couple, Ann and Alex that have a sailboat with their mast tied on deck. They are also heading to the Med for some sailing, cruising. We both left Tournus Tuesday and caught up to each other almost every night all the way to the Rhone. I later took pictures of their boat in one of the deep locks. We will head to Macon or beyond today. Today’s weather was great and Macon was an easy journey so we decided to push on. We had only one lock today and eventually tied up at a small Nautique near Villefranche-sur-Saone. We have 43 kms left to reach Lyon.
Wednesday, May 19th, Lyon
We arrive in downtown Lyon (on the Saone) and tie up between city Quai’s Tilsitt, and Mal Joffre. Just 4 blocks into the city is Victor Hugo Blvd where wonderful shops and restaurants are. Victor Hugo blvd runs parallel to the river and one end of the blvd is Place Celle-cour and Place Carnot, wonderful city parks. The GARE and auto rentals were just 4 blocks further on our side of the river.
Ken got his rental car right away so he could drive to Geneva Switzerland to pick up our next boat guests, Mark and Mark. He was also going to fit in a visit to a long time friend Bill, who happened to be in Geneva with Mark and Mark at the same business conference. We had originally planned to be in Lyon on Friday and had dinner plans with Boris and Valarie, our new “landlords” in St-Tropez but because we arrived several days earlier they arranged their schedule to meet us for dinner on Wednesday night instead. All meeting at the boat around 7pm, Ken arrives with Mark and Mark about the same time as Boris and Valarie. Of course this is a great time for champagne and as I like to be prepared, had one chilled and ready. Boris, Valarie, Ken and I headed out to dinner (only had reservations for 4) and Mark and Mark went off to explore Lyon.
It was a great opportunity to get to know Boris and Valarie better as they own the apartment we are renting in St-Tropez. It was a wonderful evening for sure.